Methacton School Buses Now Equipped With Stop-Arm Cameras

LOWER PROVIDENCE, PA — Motorists who think they can get away with passing stopped Methacton school buses can think again: new camera technology will ensure that violators will be promptly reported to local authorities.

On Tuesday, the Methacton School district announced that it had launched a new partnership with BusPatrol, and the district’s transportation provider, First Student, dedicated to keeping students safe as they are picked up, and dropped off, for school.

The district’s fleet of 100 school buses will now be equipped with stop-arm camera technology to deter drivers from illegally passing stopped buses in Lower Providence and Worcester Townships, whose students attend Methacton.

“Student safety is of the utmost importance,” David Zerbe, Methacton’s Superintendent, said in a statement. “We hope this program will help bring awareness to the community to be more careful around school buses at any time of day. We want everyone to get where they are going — safely.”

BusPatrol, the company that operates the new program program, will generate civil violations when a motorist is caught on camera evading a bus that is stopped with its stop-arm extended during pickups and drop-offs.

Methacton says that local law enforcement will “review and confirm” any violations that are generated before they are sent out to the registered owner of a vehicle that was caught making an illegal pass.

The Methacton School District is served by the Lower Providence Police Department as well as the Pennsylvania State Police. (Worcester Township, where Methacton families also reside, has no local police force and is covered by state troopers).

“Safety within our community is our department’s top priority, especially amongst our children,” Lower Providence Police Chief Michael Jackson said in a statement. “Deploying this new technology to increase driver awareness and deter reckless driving is, in my opinion, the most logical way to continue providing that safety to our children and community as a whole.”

Methacton officials said the camera program would be rolled out in the coming weeks and would include a warning period before going into effect.

Methacton School District Business Director Timothy Bricker said that the BusPatrol program allows the district to upgrade the current school bus safety technology “at no cost to taxpayers,” and that the technology, installation and maintenance are all provided at zero cost because the platform is entirely violator-funded.

Any additional revenue collected, the district says, can be used to fund school bus safety initiatives.

Jean Souliere, CEO and founder of BusPatrol, said that the company’s platform uses technology to “change driver behavior.

“In fact, our programs are proven to reduce the number of times drivers illegally pass school buses by as much as 30 percent year over year,” Souliere said in a statement.

Violators who illegally pass stopped buses in Methacton and are caught on stop-arm camera could receive a $300 fine.

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